Councillor hits out at traffic lights gridlock

Motorists have had to endure “a week of chaos” due to roadworks in the Wilton Hill area of town.

SBC councillor, Stuart Marshall, told Hawick Community Council that the town had been “paralysed” by traffic lights. He said he was “really disappointed” that ward councillors hadn’t been given prior notice of the Scottish Water repair scheme.

Outlining the extent of the gridlock, Mr Marshall said the Havelock Street and Bridge Street junctions, Wilton Hill and Dovemount Place were all traffic-lighted. He also highlighted ongoing flood repairs in Mansfield Road and Duke Street, and the weekend roadworks at the junction of Commercial Road and Albert Road, again carried out by Scottish Water, which saw three-way traffic lights in operation.

Mr Marshall said he had been told by Scottish Water workers that the roadworks in Wilton Hill were due to “another failure in the sewage system” and that it would be another three days at the earliest before traffic lights were removed. “So that will have been a week of chaos,” he added.

“It’s not good enough, but to be honest what really disappointed me was that ward councillors weren’t told that Scottish Water was coming to paralyse that part of the town.”

Councillor Alastair Cranston said he had family in Wilton Hill Terrace who knew nothing about the roadworks which they said had been a total disaster.

Councillor Marshall: “The communication could have been much, much better.”

Community Councillor French Wight: “At the end of the day they are repairing the problem, and we’ve got to respect that, but it’s the [lack of] communication.”

Councillor Marshall added: “Nobody is making complaints about the necessary repair work, it’s just the way that it’s managed. Twenty-four hours before any hole was dug, these traffic lights were in operation. Things need to be co-ordinated better.”

A Scottish Water spokesperson said: “The sewage pipe repairs in the Wilton Hill area of Hawick are being carried out in response to an investigation last year following concerns about flooding on the road.

“The nature of the road works were notified to and agreed with SBC in advance. It is expected that the work will be completed with normal traffic reinstated in the coming days. Scottish Water would like to thank customers for their patience and understanding while these essential works are being carried out and apologise for any inconvenience caused.”